Gianni Versace’s appreciation of the arts was well known. He collected both contemporary and classical pieces and often found inspiration for his designs in the work of Gustav Klimt, Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol. Now his sister, Donatella Versace, is playing patroness, sponsoring the Whitney Museum’s
2008 Gala and Studio Party on October 20 in New York. To mark the occasion, Versace collaborated with artists Julian Schnabel, Marc Quinn and Wangechi Mutu to create one-of-a-kind jewels, all of which will be sold that night to benefit the museum.
Schnabel created a deity-inspired pendant, Quinn a gold lips pendant, and Mutu a set of gold cuff bracelets.
“I know the work of Julian, Marc and Wangechi and like it very much,” Versace said. “Julian painted portraits of both my brother Gianni and my children over 10 years ago.”
Though Versace likes to don major bling—and will have the occasion to do so three nights after the Whitney party, when the Fashion Group International honors her with a Superstar Award at its annual soirée—she has no plans to splurge on the artist-designed jewels. “I hope the three pieces will find good homes where they will bring pleasure and excitement,” she said.